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A Review on Anwar Shaikh's ETERNITY  by Dr. David Frawley, U.S.A.
A Review on Anwar Shaikh's ISLAM: The Arab National Movement by Bhagawandas P. Lathi
Anwar Shaikh reviews P. N. Oak's book Islamic Havoc in India
Anwar Shaikh reviews Baljit Rai's book Is India Going Islamic?
Anwar Shaikh reviews Keshav Dev Sharma's book The Question of Culture
Anwar Shaikh reviews Pandit Ram Nath Kak's book Autumn Leaves - Kashmiri Reminiscences
Anwar Shaikh reviews Subhash Kak's book The Secrets of Ishbar - Poems on Kashmir and Other landscapes
Anwar Shaikh reviews Ibn Warraq's book Why I am not a Muslim
Anwar Shaikh reviews Dr. N. S. Rajaram's book A Hindu View of the World

 
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Book Reviews

Review on Anwar Shaikh's 

ISLAM: The Arab National Movement

By Bhagawandas P. Lathi

From: India Post

AN INSIDER'S VIEW OF ISLAM

This scholarly critique of Islam, written by Anwar Shaikh, an Urdu poet and an Islamic theologian from Pakistan, now residing in Great Britain, is the most riveting book on Islam that I ever read. Generally speaking, critical books exposing the truth about Islam are not easy to find because the author immediately earns a fatwa on his life. Anwar Shaikh, who was once a pious Muslim, has a dubious honor of being a fatwaee (who is under a fatwa).

Shaikh was trained to be an Islamic cleric (Mullah), but along the way he discovered the sad truth about Islam, which greatly disillusioned him. Ever since, he has been writing about Islam for his co-religionists to awake them to the truth about Islam. This book will shock many, who have been brought up on the constant Mantra of Hindu Gurus that all religions teach the same (nice) things, etc. It will force them to have a first-hand look at the primary Islamic sources. Hindus (and Muslims too) would do well to look at the Quran (and the Hadis) to discover the truth about Islam for themselves. This book demonstrates the awesome power of brainwashing which can easily overpower natural human decency, compassion, and reasoning ability. It explains how decent people can do horrible things to other innocent humans without any remorse and feel it as a duty commanded by God. It helps in understanding the blood-soaked Islamic history and the puzzling behavior of Muslims all over the world in general, and on Indian subcontinent in particular. It explains what makes Islam tick.

The main thesis of Shaikh in his own words is "Islam has caused more damage to the national dignity and honor of Non-Arab Muslims than any other calamity, yet they believe that this faith is the ambassador of equality and human love. This is a fiction which has been presented as a fact with an unparalleled skill. The Islamic love of mankind is a myth of even greater proportion. Hatred of non-Muslims is the pivot of the Islamic existence. It not only declares all dissidents as the denizens of hell but also seeks to ignite a permanent fire of tension between Muslims and non- Muslims; it is far more lethal than Karl Marx's idea of social conflict."

He further states that "Islam does not qualify as a religion. It is an instrument for Arabs to colonize the world in the name of Islam. Moreover, it has succeeded remarkably well in brainwashing non-Arab Muslims, who have divested themselves of all pride for their own heritage, ancestry, language, dress and customs. They have no loyalty to their motherland for being devoid of national honor. Indeed, Muslims take pride in vandalizing their ancient heritage from the pagan era to adore the Arab sanctity, superiority and supremacy. Its spring is the mythical intercessory Power of the Prophet Muhammad. This psychological paralysis caused the decline of great Asian nations such as India, Egypt and Iran, which once constituted as the great gushers of civilization but now rank as members of the "Third World" for losing their national identity and zest under the influence of Islam."

The book opens with a perceptive statement "Islam is an offshoot of the Semitic culture, which is an expression of man's aggressive behavior." All the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) have conducted repeated genocide in the name of their revealed religions. In revealed religions, God reveals His will and the only Truth to mankind through his agent, the Prophet, or the Son. There is no scope for dissent because the final word is contained in the revelation. Hence, official dogmas, blasphemy, heretics and massacres are inevitable.

The author believes the concept of revelation is the pivot of Semitic culture. The tradition of Semitic chiefs to claim as God's representative, viceroy goes back to mythical times well before 3000 years. This tradition was maintained masterfully by assigning to the deity incredible powers and attributes to frighten people into submission. Thus, the king could do anything in the name of revelation without much danger of rebellion. God's messenger is God's servant in name only. In practice, he is God's superior. Basically, revelation is nothing but a tool of dominance. The two Prophets, Moses and Muhammad used this device of revelation with great skill to their advantage. A prophet desperately wants to be loved and adored as God but without being called so. A prophet's urge of dominance is much stronger than that of a secular suzerain; a prophet wants to become immortal and wants to command people from the grave and desires to be worshipped exclusively. Muhammad even warns people that he was the last prophet, and any prophet after him would be an impostor. However, to be remembered and loved after his death, he must have a devoted band of followers. This is why a prophet also has to be a national leader, openly or discretely.

Every person who seeks dominance as a prophet through the device of revelation creates a god of his own, and when another person aspires to be a prophet he has to demolish the god of his competitor and erect the image of new god to establish his Prophethood to operate the device of revelation. This truth is well illustrated by the examples of Assur (of Shalmanester III), Marduk (national god of Babylonia), Yahweh (of Moses) and Allah (of Muhammad). The Author then analyzes Moses' prophethood to show how it follows exactly this pattern. Then he analyzes Mohammed's claim in details.

Mohammed's religion was named Islam and his God was Allah. Muhammad claimed that all earlier prophets (Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus) were Muslims, whose teachings were corrupted by their followers. So he adopted most of the Jewish principles and practices with a view to renovating the old religion of God. He made great effort to convert Jews. In earlier part of the Quran, Jews are eulogized and treated with lavish praise, even making Jerusalem, the KIBLA. Mohammed adored Abraham, the common ancestor of the Jews and the Arabs. When the Jews ignored his loving approach, they were damned (in later part of the Quran) with the apostolic wrath: "God has cursed them for their unbelief." Jerusalem was demoted as the Kibla of the believers and Kaaba, the Arab sanctuary, was bestowed this honor. The policy of ethnic cleansing (of banishing and slaughtering Jews) was adopted.

Now the Prophet consciously started elevating Islam above Judaism and Arabs above Jews. Bible declares (Genesis 17-18) that God made an everlasting covenant with Isaac (the Jewish patriarch), but now the Quran says (Cow:115) that the God made covenant with Abraham and Ishmael (the Arab patriarch). So, earlier Jews were the God's chosen people, now the Arabs are the chosen people. Thus, among all people of the world, God chose two Semitic tribes, the descendants of Isaac and Ishmael (the two sons of Abraham) as the best. Among these two tribes He chose the descendants of Ishmael (the Arabs) as the best. Among Arabs, God chose Quresh (Mohammed's tribe) as the best people, and from this clan He chose Muhammad as the best of all men. On the day of judgment, Muhammad (and nobody else) would occupy the right-hand side of God's throne with a power of intercession ( Waseela) to forgive sins and act as a medium to paradise (Christians make the same claim for Jesus).

The portrait of Allah as seen from the Quran is not a pretty one. He resembles more a Mafia don than a loving and caring father. Allah says that He has created man for no purpose but worship and adore Him (The Scatterers:55). Every possible sin can be pardoned, but Shirk (worshipping anything besides Allah) is the only unpardonable sin in the eyes of Allah. Allah sings His own glory that there is no God but He, He is the King, all-holy, all- peaceable, all-faithful, all-preserver, all-mighty, all-compeller, all-sublime, all-wise, all-forgiving, all-merciful, and so on. The unbelievers in general, and idolaters in particular, are the filth of the earth, and must be destroyed by whatever means, fair or foul. God says in the Quran "Then when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captive and besiege them, and prepare an ambush for each of them,.... Those who disbelieve our revelations, We (God) shall expose them to the fire.... As often as their skins are consumed, We shall exchange them for fresh skins (and burn again and again) that they may taste the torment.... Accursed, they will be seized wherever found and slain with a fierce slaughter.... Idolaters and their gods are fuel of hell.... The fire is the reward of Allah's enemy, payment for denying Our revelation.... Disbelievers are an open enemy to you,.... Murder those disbelievers.... and let them find harshness in you,... The idolaters only are unclean,... Those who won't accept Islam are to be killed. When you encounter the unbelievers, strike off their heads, until you have made a great slaughter among them.... How many populations have we destroyed.... Humiliate the non-Muslims.... These are just samples of the Allah's threats to his children for disobeying and disbelieving Him. But are the unbelievers (kafirs) so vile as to deserve the Allah's wrath. No! Allah preordains who shall be a believer and who shall not. He says so in many places (none can be believer except by the will of Allah....). Allah says that He has Himself led unbelievers astray. He has deliberately put them---complete with their obstinate unbelief, their scheming and treachery---in the way of believers so as to test the believers. In other words, the believers will have to fight them, they must fight them---till the unbelievers submit (accept Islam) or they are exterminated. How interesting! Allah creates unbelievers (kafirs) by his will and then visits them with the most terrible vengeance for disbelieving Him. Poor kafirs! While on this earth the believers humiliate, torment, and then slaughter them. When they are dead, Allah tortures them for eternity. And all this, not because kafirs want to disbelieve Allah, but because Allah wants them to disbelieve Him and wants then as targets for practice by His believers. Surely, this no-win situation of kafirs must have caused many people to become Muslims. Of course, the Muslims fully believe all this to be the word of God. This is why the author observes "Revelation is the greatest medium of brainwashing because this is the agent of faith, which shuts down all doors of reasoning.

The Author wonders about such a jealous, vengeful, cruel, unstable, and unjust God who desires constant worship from man. "Is worship really noblest desire? In fact it is the lowest wish a being can have because it is the worst form of flattery. Someone who wants to be praised all the time is a maniac who has lost all sense of decency. He is a danger to his own dignity as well as to the self-respect of those who are required to creep, crawl, and cry before him. Desire for praise is a human weakness, and urge of dominance happens to be its fountain. The concept of Allah as all- powerful, Absolute and totally independent is negated by the Quranic depiction of Allah as desperate for being loved and worshipped. He curses and swears at the unbelievers. He mocks and misleads them and threatens them with the most sadistic punishment of flaming hell, and also bribes them with paradise full of beautiful virgins. He repeatedly asserts that He is the most Terrible Avenger and His retributive punishment knows no bound. He hates those who do not prostrate before Him and recommends their slaughter until they are wiped out or submit to His will." The author asks, " Is it really the character of true God? He cannot be the Creator. If He were, He would have created the man to obey Him because praise, worship, and submission are his greatest desires, whose unfulfilment makes Him so unhappy and ruffled. If He cannot make Himself happy, how can He have the ability to make other people happy? Especially, when His happiness solely depends upon the deeds of man, He cannot be God." What is He then?

The author claims that it is not Allah who created Muhammad, it is Muhammad who created Allah in the tradition of revelation discussed earlier. Allah is a factotum (handyman) of Muhammad and does whatever Muhammad wants from Him. Allah tells believers not to walk in front of the Prophet or raise voice above that of the Prophet. Allah tells the believers how to enter the house of the Prophet, how not to stay there, and not to indulge in idle talk when they are in his house. The Prophet was surely capable of giving such instructions. Even in such fundamental spiritual matter of Kibla, Muhammad wants it to be changed from Jerusalem to Kaaba, Allah does it. Muhammad says that the previous divine books Torah and Bible had been corrupted, but God has guaranteed the integrity of the Quran. Is it not amazing that God did not think it fit to protect His other books, only the Quran! Why? It is the same thing with the tradition of God to guide every generation through his prophets such as Adam, Noah, Joseph, Moses, etc. Now, suddenly Allah changed his mind. He made Muhammad the last prophet. No more prophets after him, only the impostors. Although Allah declares that no man can change the word of God (Cattle:30), Allah allows Muhammad to be above His laws. A Muslim is allowed four wives simultaneously, but Muhammad was allowed more wives (He had nine). A Muslim must be equitable to all his wives, but the Prophet can suspend any of them. Ayesha, one of the Prophet's wife was displeased when the Prophet was taking yet another wife (Khaula bint Halo). Then suddenly Allah revealed to Muhammad that " You may suspend any of your previous wives that you please". Poor Ayesha realized her predicament and capitulated saying "Allah hurries in pleasing you." Another wife Hafza found the Prophet in her bed with another woman (Marya). That was Hafza's day to be in bed with the Prophet according to the rotation system. She was mad, and the Prophet promises her not to transgress again. But immediately Allah sends revelation that the Prophet is absolved of any oath (66.1) so that he is free to break his promise. We see this again and again in the Quran that God makes or changes laws to suit the Prophet. The only function of Allah seems to be to secure the pleasure of Muhammad. The true Creator and all-powerful God will not dispense or bend his laws to please a man or legalize his actions.

According to the author, this clearly shows that Allah is Mohammed's creation and Allah's duty is to give supernatural sanctity to Mohammed's words and deeds. Observe: Revelations are received by Muhammad for the benefit of Muhammad. Moreover, these revelations cannot be independently verified because only Muhammad (and nobody else) can receive them. If any one so claims, he is a heretic whose punishment is death. Thus, Muhammad is the Judge, the jury and the executioner. Even a banana republic has better checks and balances in its constitution. We all accept the cardinal principle of the modern science that a Truth must be independently verifiable by anyone who is willing to take the trouble. But Islam (indeed every revealed religion, including Judaism and Christianity) shuts its door to any verification of its claims.

It is also clear that though the Quran in the beginning treats Muhammad as Human, eventually, like Moses, Mohammed appears as God's superior. A person does not rank as a believer until he loves the Prophet more than his father, his children and all mankind. Muhammad is as great as Allah because the former like the latter, has 99 attributes. Obedience to Muhammad becomes as compulsory as to Allah and gradually the Prophet shares authority with Allah. On the last day of judgment, the criterion of judgment shall not be the quality of deeds but who has loved the Prophet most. All unbelievers will go to hell with unspeakable torture for eternity even if they led virtuous life. But any murderer, rapist, thug, etc., who ever mentioned Mohammed's name affectionately even once in their life-time and believed in his Prophethood would go to paradise. This is in reality Shirk (worshipping others with Allah), which is unpardonable sin. According to the author, this exposes the true nature of revelation, that is, it serves the tool of dominance-seeker who wants to be loved and worshipped by his fellow men by projecting himself as God indirectly. Although idolatry deserves hell in Islam, Muslims vied with one another in gathering Prophet's (trimmed) hair, nails as divine objects. If this is not idolatry, what is?

The author makes a convincing argument that the prophet was in reality an Arab national leader aiming at establishing a system of Arab imperialism. This he does by shifting the God's covenant from Isaac (Jews) to Ishmael (Arabs), by shifting the Kibla from Jerusalem to Kaaba, by making Quresh (Mohammed's tribe) as the God's chosen tribe (Moses had declared Jews as the chosen people). Moses created Jewish nation in the name of Yahweh. Muhammad created Muslim nation in the name of Allah. Sahih Al Bokhari volume 8 says " Even the most virtuous and capable non Arab Muslim cannot legitimately rule. This exposes the racial nature of Islam and the much-vaunted Islamic principles of equality and democracy a myth." The Arabs have acquired the status of a nucleus whereas the non-Arab Muslims have gladly become their satellites in the hope of gaining paradise. The Prophet says that he will not open the gates of paradise to those Muslims who are not friendly with the Arabs (Sahih Tirmizi, vol. 2, pp. 835,840). The author marvels at how Muslims of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and African origin deny nationality of their own.... They have no national histories... and cling to the Arab history, which they call the "Islamic history" for having some kind of identity, no matter how inferior.

The author believes that to ensure victory of his nationalism, the Prophet used a two-pronged strategy of "stick and carrot". Stick (eternal torture of hell) for those who do not follow him and carrot (eternal pleasure of heaven with most beautiful virgins) for those who follow him. He also formulated the doctrine of Jihad (fighting against unbelievers) for taking over their country, personal possessions and women, and subjugating them to Arabian hegemony. The Quran says " God has bought from the believers their selves against the gift of paradise.... They kill and get killed." If a Muslim soldier wins, his life becomes paradise on this earth because of the booty and plunder he receives by way of wealth and women. If he is killed, he goes straight to the paradise. What a philosophical temptation to murder and pillage! Since Jihad is against the unbelievers, the Prophet created unlimited opportunities for holy wars by declaring all religions false and ungodly. The Quran says " And whoever desires a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted...." (3.85). the Prophet declared that he was commanded (by Allah) to fight against people ceaselessly until they confessed that their was no god but Allah and Muhammad was his messenger. Author further states that these holy wars were, in fact, the wars of national ambition and gives several examples of wanton cruelties of the Prophet, who also emphasizes that "war is deceit" (Sahih Al Bokhari, vol. 4). Thus, the author says "one can see Islam is not a message of mercy but a secular code like all other contemporary codes. To perpetuate opportunities for war to keep the Mujaheddin (warriors of Allah) on war footing, Islam is based on the hatred of non-Muslims." He then goes on to give many quotes from the Quran to buttress his argument about hate mongering such as "Muslims must wage a struggle against the non-Muslims and be harsh with them ... Slay the idolaters wherever you find them... God has cursed the unbelievers and prepared a blaze for them, and so on.

One is amused at the description of heaven and hell. In heaven, a believer gets to enjoy 70 divinely beautiful virgins (Houris) with swelling breasts which are round and horizontal (not drooping). To enjoy these houries every faithful will be given the virility of 100 men. Moreover, this joy is for ever (eternity). The author reminds here that Jihad (the holy war) is a duty laid on the believers to destroy the unbelievers in return for paradise. This is what made people believe that the reward of Jihad , i.e., killing and robbing the non-Muslims in the name of Allah is paradise. Without the expectation of such a reward, Muslims would not have fought with half the zeal that they displayed in eradicating the non-Muslims. To highlight the effect of paradisiac delight, the Prophet narrates the doleful plight of hell in contradistinction. For instance, nonbelievers will be tortured by burning their skins, given new skins to burn again and again and again. They will have to drink boiling water, that tears their bowels asunder, etc.

Author then dissects the political claims of Islam such as the Islam offers democracy. Not true! The first four rulers (Caliphs) were appointed. After the battle of Karbala, the Islamic Caliphate became a dynastic rule or kingship. Islamic claim that the rule of the first four Caliphs was a golden period of Islam is also not true. Of the four, only Abu Bakr died naturally. The other three were assassinated. The pillaged wealth and the abducted daughters and sisters of the foreign nations (Egypt and Iran were the earliest victims) lent the golden touch to this Arab era. They claim that Islam is a socialistic system. Nonsense. Islam openly declares that Allah makes king whom he likes, and gives wealth to a person he chooses. They say that Islam is a religion of brotherhood. Thousand times no! Islamic hatred for non-Muslims makes Islam the opponent of human rights. This is the reason that one cannot find many non-Muslims in Muslim countries. A Muslim cannot be executed for murdering a non-Muslim. Muslims can have a mosque in the holiest places of Hinduism, but nobody can build a temple, a church, or a synagogue in Mecca. Association of Muslim with a non-Muslim is forbidden by the Quran, and the membership of the United Nations by all Muslim nations is un-Islamic. What a model of international brotherhood it is!" They say that Islam is a religion of love and peace. A million times no! Islam glorifies violence and sanctifies murder and pillage of the non-Muslims and abduction of their women for spreading the name of Allah, who calls himself the Most Merciful, yet he sanctions the basest form of cruelties to those humans, who do not acknowledge Him as the Divine. Murder, rape, pillage, abduction, etc., are the worst form of moral vices, yet Allah adores them as virtues for the Crusaders (Mujaheddins) who subjugate the non- Muslims to the yoke of Islam. One is baffled by such a morality which has been invented to initiate aggression."

So far the response of the Muslim world is hand-wringing, cursing, death threats, vituperation and a fatwa on the Shaikh. No refutation of his claims. They seem to have no arguments to refute Shaikh's impeccable scholarship.

Islam: The Arab National Movement

101 pp. Paperback
Principality Publishers, Cardiff, Great Britain

 Distributor:

A. Ghosh Publisher,
5740 W. Little York,
Suite 216,
Houston TX 77091, $ 7.50

 
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